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Image / Editorial

‘Ireland remembers’: Irish help donate over $2 million in Covid-19 relief for Native Americans

by Shayna Sappington
06th May 2020

Kindred Spirits sculpture in Midleton, Co Cork

Over $2 million and counting, Irish are donating relief aid to Native Americans to repay an act of kindness showed over 173 years ago

In an amazing act of solidarity, donations from Ireland have helped raise over $2 million for Native Americans devastated by Covid-19.

With limited supplies and high poverty rates, the Navajo and Hopi people have been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus. The Navajo Nation reported 101 new cases and a total of 73 Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, bringing their total number of cases to 2,474.

In an urgent effort to bring relief, a GoFundMe page was set up for the two nations.

“The heartache is real,” said one of the page organisers, Vanessa Tulley. “We have lost so many of our sacred Navajo elders and youth to COVID-19. It is truly devastating. And a dark time in history for our Nation.”

A substantial part of these donations have been coming from Ireland to reciprocate a kindness that Native Americans paid to us long ago.

Ireland remembers

In 1847, the Choctaw Nation scraped together what little money they had and donated $170 in relief aid to help Ireland during the Great Hunger. 

This was just after Native Americans had experienced their own devastation, the tragic Trail of Tears, where 60,000 were forced to relocate over 5,000 miles.

“173 years later to today, the favor is returned through generous donations from the Irish people to the Navajo Nation during our time of crisis,” Tulley said.

Kindred Spirits sculpture in Midleton, Co Cork, commemorating the Choctaw’s donation during the Great Famine


“In moments like these, we are so grateful for the love and support we have received from all around the world. Acts of kindness from indigenous ancestors passed being reciprocated nearly 200 years later through blood memory and interconnectedness.

“Thank you, IRELAND, for showing solidarity and being here for us.”

So far, over $2,400,000 has been raised, and donations from the Irish people continue to pour in, with many captions reading: “Ireland remembers”.

Donations can be made on the Navajo and Hopi families’ GoFundMe page.


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